I don’t know about you, but when I’m surrounded by fabric I get extremely frustrated when I am not able to make one of the simplest of garments…pajama pants. I LIVE in pajama pants. I should probably start calling them lounge pants so I sound classier. 😉 But I couldn’t figure out a pattern to make. I have some curves and was frustrated with pj patterns that are unisex. My shape is not the same as a mans. And I’m having a mental block with pattern sizes right now that I didn’t want to tackle.
Solution? Create my own pattern.
Oh wait. I don’t draft clothing patterns. Hmmm… Google!
Hmm….tried that. Made a pair of “pants” from flannel that luckily I bought for $1 a yard on sale because they did NOT work out. I tried to take a pair of existing pjs, lay them out and copy them for a pattern. I could NOT get this to work. I know exactly why too. The waistband has elastic and I can’t stretch it with one hand and draw with the other. This is at least a two person project for me. Anyway…no pics of that because the pants were wayyyyy low around my behind. Scandalous. 😉 And not functional.
That behind needed to be covered! So I finally decided (after one of my favorite pair of pjs came out of the laundry mysteriously covered in stains) to make lemonade from lemons and meticulously cut apart the legs of a purchased pj pants I owned that fit well. That took a whole evening because I didn’t want to loose any seam allowance or do something stupid with scissors as I am apt to do when chopping apart clothes.
One thing I DID learn from my google searches and attempt at making a pair of pjs is that you can make the pants from just two pieces, rather than four. You can cut each leg as ONE piece. And you eliminate a whole seam on each side. Plus that was less to take apart! I ironed ONE pant leg flat and laid it out on my prewashed yardage opened to full width. I have the fabric doubled with wrong sides together so I can cut both legs at once and get one facing each way.
These particular pair of pants have a bit of a boot cut to the leg…something that I definitely would not be able to draft on my own. The seam allowance because it was clearly trimmed down by serging during manufacturing is only a quarter inch. So I added an extra quarter inch around the long lengths so I would have a 1/2″ seam allowance to work with.
Plus I easily marked my buttonholes with the pieces flat for the drawstring waist. I also took the time to mark the hems and casings. Super easy to follow the perma press folds from the purchased pj pant leg.
With everything marked, it was much easier to do all of my hems and casing ironing with the pieces flat rather than wait until after they were sewn and be working on curved pieces. Woohoo! Production sewing! And the first thing I did was actually put the button holes in. These are easy peasy these days with any modern machine and a button hole maker. Don’t be intimidated by them. The machine literally sews for you! I placed a bit of tear away stabilizer behind the button hole to add stability to the stitches. Great product and super easy to use. Rips right away when you want!
I sew up the two legs in a flash. I hemmed super quick…remember I had already pressed everything before sewing. So this was a simple stitch to hold that hem in place. I did a double row a 1/8″ apart for a more “professional” out of the store feel.
The waistband is a gathered one with elastic and a drawstring. I kept both the elastic and the drawstring from the original pants to use as my measurements for the new pants. Woohoo…no thinking! I did tack down both in the back center seam to help stabilize them and keep the elastic from twisting and the drawstring from pulling through. Oh and added a cute little tag to identify the back of the pants from the inside. Love little touches like that!
And here I am. Completely thrilled with my pj pants that fit perfectly!! And with a pattern piece (in flannel no less so it clings to the fabric you are cutting with no pattern weights or pins!) that I can reuse and reuse! I have some prewashed Anna Maria Flannel that is next on the list. Those will be made soon! Yummy. It is sooo liberating to use multiple yards of fabric and chop into it after months and months of working with tiny pieces for quilts. I may end up with a pair of “lounge” pants for every day of the week. 😉